Remember Earth2? Dead Like Me canceled… and Rebecca Gayheart’s sorta sad story

Yes, Earth2, that ill-fated one-season SF TV show (imdb) (fansite 1 2 3 in-dept-critical-analysis-page rpg-fansite). Okay, it wasn’t as brilliant a show as it perhaps could have been, but it was at least interesting enough to grab my attention in 1994. I remember a few years later, people were still whining online about the cancelation of the show, and even several years after its cancelation, they were trying to agitate for it to go back on the air with a new season.

I had desperately wanted to watch it again, and looked online. Someone who’d taped all the espisodes was willing to copy it and mail it out for a minor (exorbitant) fee, in American dollars. It was my misgivings about sending money to a complete stranger with no way of getting it back if the person screwed me that deterred me, not prescience about the availability of a zillion speciality rerun channels or the internet media download revolution that nearly was upon us by then.

In any case, I’ve lately been watching the show again, downloading episodes and marveling at how I could have liked it so much. The aliens all look kind of goofy, even the Terrians, though it’s probably hard to do better with mere TV budgets. It’s engaging enough, though I hate TV sci-fi, to bring me back, and as the opening credits for episode five were running, I recognized the name of Rebecca Gayheart, who played Bess in the show. Where did I know her face from? Was it just recognition from ten years ago, when I’d thought her the most attractive woman on TV?

No, of course not! She was Betty, the quirky and hilarious grim reaper on Dead Like Me, another fantastical (and actually fantastic, therefore, it seems, recently canceled) TV show I liked (imdb) (official MGM site) (fansite) (blogcritics review). I discovered this at the IMDB page on her, of course.

But while I was there, I also saw a note of “trivia” about her life. Quite a sad story, really, of how a career can be destroyed by a single stupid mistake. A stupid mistake it was, but it’s too bad it cost her everything. Well, almost everything. She does get into B-movies and get partial-season work on TV, I guess.

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